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Pandemic exposes US' divided, unequal society

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-05-19 06:35

Dr. Charles Brubaker, 99, a COVID-19 patient who was admitted after injuring his hip while isolating at home, is assisted by registered nurse Annie Voegele, who started nursing in September of 2020, inside his isolation room at the Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California, US, April 12, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

The COVID pandemic has exposed failures of public health and myriad inequities including age and race in the US as the country records one million COVID deaths, the Guardian reported Sunday.

The US has a lower life expectancy and the worst healthcare quality and access compared to other large and wealthy countries. Over the last decade, the US has been decreasing its spending for state and local health departments by 16 and 18 percent.

One of the reasons why the death toll is high in the US is Americans are less likely to have a primary care provider.

About three-quarters of Americans who died from COVID were 65 or older, among which more than 150,000 were nursing home residents, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Long-standing racial disparities in care and treatment have also been intensified. According to the US CDC, Native Americans are over 2.5 times more likely to die of COVID compared to white Americans, African-Americans more than 1.5 times more likely, and Hispanic Americans 1.1 times.

In an article published in ABC News on Sunday, Dr. Richina Bicette-McCain, an emergency medicine physician and medical director of the McNair Emergency Department in Houston, Texas discussed this inequity in more detail. "Black and Brown people may not have had jobs where they could have worked remotely. They were required to go back to work early, thus exposing themselves and putting themselves at higher risk."

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